ABOUT US

OUR MISSION

The mission of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United is to ensure that all people who work in restaurants can achieve financial independence and improve their quality of life.

We are over 25,000 people who work in restaurants, over 300 high-road employers, and thousands of engaged consumers united for raising restaurant industry standards.

OUR HISTORY

The Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York was initially founded in New York City by Fekkak Mamdouh and Saru Jayaraman after September 11th, 2001 to provide support to people who work in restaurants who were displaced as a result of the World Trade Center tragedy. Based on our successful efforts in New York City, many who worked in restaurants in several other cities approached ROC about initiating chapters in their cities. Thus, in 2008 we launched the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, which has grown into a national organization with over 25,000 members who work in restaurants nationwide.

Since its founding, ROC United has won more than a dozen workplace justice campaigns, winning more than $10 million in misappropriated tips and wages and discrimination payments for people who work in restaurants, and significant policy changes in high-profile restaurant companies covering thousands of people. We have played an instrumental role in winning statewide minimum wage increases for those who work for tips in restaurants, and other policy campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels. ROC also partners with over 300 responsible restaurant owners to promote the ‘high road’ to profitability, has trained more than 5,000 people to advance to livable-wage jobs within the industry, and has published over 30 ground-breaking reports and a nationally bestselling book on the restaurant industry.

OUR TEAM

CO-DIRECTORS & CO-FOUNDERS

Saru Jayaraman

Saru Jayaraman

Co-Founder, Co-Director

Co-Director (based in Oakland, California), co-founded ROC in New York after 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, which has organized those who work in restaurants to win workplace justice campaigns, conduct research and policy work, partner with responsible restaurants, and launch cooperatively-owned restaurants.

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Fekkak Mamdouh

Fekkak Mamdouh

Co-Founder, Co-Director

Fekkak Mamdouh came to the United States from Morocco in 1988 at the age of 27. He worked in New York City restaurants since he arrived, and finally moved to Windows on the World when it reopened in 1996. As a waiter at Windows, Mamdouh was always a staunch worker advocate.

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NATIONAL STAFF

Morgan Prentice

Consumer Organizer

Raymond Pettit

Sr. Development Associate

Pete Vargas

High Road Director

Dave Palmer

General Counsel & Managing Director

Ephraim Colbert

High Road Associate

Dallas Donnell

Senior Staff Writer

Vanessa Huang

Development Director

Sian Lewis

Communications Director

Rosanne Martino

Operations & Finance Director | COLORS Coordinator

Rachel Tyree

Executive Assistant

Sheila Maddali

Law and Organizing Director

Teófilo Reyes

Research Director

Geeta Seebe-Taddeo

Executive Assistant, Finance

Sekou Siby

Executive Director

Larry Swetman

Online Organizing Coordinator

Marie Wiggins

HR and Finance Deputy

ROC United Board of Directors

Paul Booth

Executive Assistant to the President, AFSCME

Victoria Bruton

ROC-PA Member

Dayna Cunningham

Director, MIT Innovations Lab

Woong Chang

ROC-DC Member

Kelly Ditson

ROC-PA Member

Sarita Gupta

Chair, Executive Director, National Jobs with Justice

Jennifer Herman

MKJ Communications

Imar Hutchins

Owner, Florida Avenue Grill

Jorge Jimenez

ROC-LA Member

Jessica Martin

ROC-DC Member

Morgan Simon

Chair, Managing Director of Pi Investments

Abel Valenzuela

Professor, University of California at Los Angeles

(affiliations listed for purposes of identification)

LOCAL ROC CHAPTERS

Bay Area

Bay Area

900 Alice St.
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607
510-761-7622

Contact: Evelyn Rangel-Medina
evelyn@rocunited.org
Boston

Boston

729 Boylston St.
4th floor
Boston, MA 02116
857-233-2271
Contact: Marisol Santiago
marisol@rocunited.org
Chicago

Chicago

77 W. Washington Street,
Suite 1507
Chicago, IL 60602
312-629-2892
Contact: Felipe Tendick-Matesanz
felipe@rocunited.org
Los Angeles

Los Angeles

1730 West Olympic Blvd
#300 Room K
Los Angeles, CA 90015

213-380-1020
Contact: Kathy Hoang
kathy@rocunited.org

Michigan

311 E Grand River Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
313-962-5020
Contact: Alicia Renee Farris
alicia@rocunited.org
Gulf Coast

Gulf Coast

1539 Jackson Ave
Suite 410
New Orleans, LA 70130
504-529-5654
Contact: Cedric Watts
cedric@rocunited.org
New York

New York

275 7th Ave.
Suite 1703
17th floor
New York, NY 10001
212-343-1661

Contact: Catherine Barnett
catherine@rocunited.org
Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

1329 Buttonwood St.
3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19123

215-867-9747
Contact: Samuel Jones
samuel@rocunited.org
Seattle

Seattle

1402 3rd Avenue
Suite 201
Seattle, WA 98101
Contact: Elena Perez
elena@rocunited.org
Washington DC

Washington DC

1100 Florida Ave NW
2nd Floor
Washington DC, 20009
202-559-7498
Contact: Diana Ramirez
diana@rocunited.org

CONTACT US

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES: Contact events@rocunited.org

ROCAction is a 501©4 organization dedicated to supporting issues that lead eliminating the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers and raising the minimum wage for all.